Sunday, February 28, 2010

Enthusiasm

Most Recently Read Book:

Enthusiasm

By Polly Shulman

Gosh, I'm stuck on what to say about this book. In the end, I would say I liked it. I definitely think any YA girl would like this book. The reason I'm stuck is that I didn't like it that much at the beginning. I'm not sure if the voice changed towards the middle/end or if I just got used to the voice about halfway through. This book is supposed to parallel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, which is fine, but it seemed kind of forced in the beginning. I think the characters were fun though and it ended up being a good story.

Whales on Stilts

Most Recently Read Book:

Whales on Stilts

By M. T. Anderson

I've been on the hunt for a good science fiction book to read with my 5th grade student. I grabbed this one from the library having no idea what to expect. It was such a fun read though. I think it'll be a little too hard for my student just because it's written in such a funky style. It kind of reminds me of Series of Unfortunate Events because the narrator stops (occasionally) to talk to the reader and there are lots of puns and parts that allude to other stories or science fiction in general. I enjoyed this book though, it cracked me up. It was super fun.

Field Museum Fun!

Last weekend, on a complete whim we decided to take a trip to the Field Museum. Chad and I haven't been in forever, and Jordan had never been. We packed up lunch and hopped in the car. Jordan and I slept on the way down while Chad drove. (This happens a lot...maybe too much.)

Our first stop when we got there was the new children's section called the Crown Family Play Lab. It was a great space in the basement where Jordan made a crown with animals on it and then dug for fossils. Very cool!

Then we headed upstairs to see Sue. I have never seen Sue and she is pretty cool. I do have to say I thought she was going to be much bigger, but she was still cool. Jordan thought she was awesome.
We walked around and saw the animals and went to Egypt. After lunch we go tickets for the Dino 3-D show and went to see the other dinosaurs. Jordan was pretty excited at this point, I'm pretty sure he's roaring in this picture!
It was a fun trip! It was perfect for an overcast, winter day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This Could Be Dangerous...


rbandj gave me an award (!!!!)...but I think it could be dangerous
master?
that might go to my head!

there are so many things
i wish
i could be the master of...
telling jokes or even getting jokes (easily) that others tell
making sugar cookies with cookies cutters
doing the big dishes that don't fit into the dishwasher

one thing
i've realized from working on national boards
this year
is that i love interacting with people
meeting new people
connecting with people
sharing with people
helping people

it's a complete honor for me to get this award
master of karate and friendship award

how cool is that?

here's what i have to do:

name 6 things that you're the master of...
then tag 6 bloggers who are the master of friendship
and make blogging that much more awesome. (:

1. i am the master of planning
i love love love love to plan
i already am thinking about jordan's b-day party in may
i have a list of all the baby things we'll need for our new munchkin
i have an insane list of everything i have to do tomorrow and the next day and the next week...

which leads me to...
2. i am the master of organization
(in most parts of my life)
it's not to say i don't have clutter in my life or
things out of place
but for the most part things are where they need to be
and i can get it for you if you need it

3. i am the master of reading
if you read my blog at all
i'm sure you've realized that i read like crazy
and i love it

4. i am the master of fruit snacks
and m&ms
and marshmallows
poor jordan can't just reach into the closet
we hold the key to the sweets

5. i am the master of optimism
i can find the silver lining
i can see the fullness of the glass


6. i am the master of friendship
it's hard to say that
i feel like i am a good friend
but that one is hard to proclaim
but like i said,
i love people
when i connect with someone
it's like, add chit chat
and we're instant friends

and now i'm ready to pass this on to:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Musings

Sheesh, it's been forever and ever and ever since I last posted! Sorry blog followers! I've just been super busy lately and blogging has been a low priority. Not that I don't love my blog!

I can't believe it's already almost the end of February. Have you noticed the sun more and more? I say that as we are in the middle of a winter storm watch, but it has been sunnier lately. It means March is right around the corner and that means spring!

Until spring officially makes its way into our lives once again, Chad and I are enjoying the Winter Olympics. Chad explained to me that no dude likes or ever admits (if they do) to watching the opening ceremony because it's so parade-y and girly. I watched until I fell asleep...they were cool this year but I do like the closing ceremonies much better because I feel like I know the athletes more.

Kathy posted this week about watching the Olympics and I figured I would post my own Olympics memories. I have always loved watching the Olympics, my family always watched when I was a kid. When the torch was on it's tour before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta I went to see it when it made a stop at the train station in Lake Forest. That was super cool. I remember watching with my dad and my sister.

We've met a few Olympians but I can't find any pictures! I think they may be on my old computer. But here are the people we have met: Jenny Finch (gold medal-winner for softball), Magic Johnson (gold medal-winner in basketball), and Michael Phelps (million time over gold-medal-winner). Chad also took Jordan to meet Mark Spitz who held the record for winning in swimming before Phelps broke his record.

I have to say meeting Jenny Finch was pretty cool. We've met lots of athletes but she had her gold medal with her and let me hold it. I barely held back tears because I was so moved. There is something profound about holding a golf medal. Amazing. Sorry I have no pictures...maybe I can dig some up. I hope to post again soon!

This Is Where I Leave You

Most Recently Read Book:

This Is Where I Leave You

By Jonathan Troppper

My book club read this book this month and it was very entertaining. It's a book about a many whose life is basically in shambles and his dad's dying wish was that his family sit shiva for him for 7 days. Shiva is a Jewish custom to mourn a person when he/she dies. So the main character ends up stuck in the house he grew up in with his mother and his 4 siblings. If that's not enough he's dealing with his crap marriage...I'm so not doing this book justice, it's just a ton of funny, believe me. We heard it's going to be made into a movie and I think it would be a great movie. Since it's written from a man's perspective there seems to be lots of sex or thoughts of fex and sometimes kind of crazy explanations of things...but I think that's just a girls perspective on getting a look into a man's mind. It's not raunchy, at least I didn't think so. It was fun, read it!

Alice in Wonderland

Most Recently Read Book:

Alice in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll

I have seen a lot of "gear" for the new Alice in Wonderland movie at the mall lately and I realized I should probably read the book! It's such a classic! I've seen the movies and Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars series is one of my favorite YA series of all times...so I grabbed the book from the library.

Most of the time books are way better than the movies, but I have to honestly say there isn't much from the movies that strays from the book...I have to read Through the Looking Glass now so I see how much the jaberwocky plays in and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, but everything from this book matches up with what I've seen in movies...so I guess I wasn't missing much by not having read the book. Also, the book is just as messed up as the movies so I think had I read it without having seen the movies and loved the comicalness of them, I think I would have been weirded out by how random the book is...and then I probably would have been mad at the ending. This might be one book where it's just as well to watch the movie.

Bad Mother

Most Recently Read Book:

Bad Mother

By Ayelet Waldman

I have to preface this post by saying that Ayelet Waldman is married to the author Michael Chabon and writes articles for various newspapers. She is the mother of four kids.

I loved the beginning of this book. It talks about how mothers today hold ourselves and others up to such high standards when it comes to judging ourselves as "good mothers". She explains how ridiculous some of these expectations are and how we need to realize we do our best and to be happy with ourselves and what we accomplish. We also can't compare ourselves to other mothers in a good or bad way, it's just no fair to us or them. I loved that part...I also really enjoyed her stories about her experiences as a mother, there are some I could truly relate to and some that just opened my eyes as far as what other mothers have experienced. What I was kind of disappointed with was that the focus of not worrying so much about being a bad mother that she discussed in the beginning was not carried out throughout the entire book. But that's just my opinion, it's in no way meant to downplay the stories she relates and their validity as worthy of sharing, I just wish she had carried through her opinion from the beginning to make it stronger as a piece of writing.

Tunes For Bears To Dance To

Most Recently Read Book:

Tunes For Bears To Dance To

I came across this book when I was looking for books I could use to illustrate persuasive writing to my students. All I can say is it was a pretty weird book. I think it would have worked better as a short story because it is a fairly short book. There is a good part that focuses on a man trying to convince a boy to do something he doesn't want to do. It has a strong message about people and their prejudices against other people...but to me it was a little weird just because it seemed too forced that someone should hold such a grudge against a person they haven't even met. Needless to say I'll be sharing the persuasive part with my students but probably telling them most of the story just to spare them from reading the whole entire thing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jordan and Daddy

video

It's funny to think of what kind of a person Jordan is going to be when he grows up. I think he is going to be so much fun...but lately the goofy, class-clown, attention-demanding behaviors have been more and more evident in this kid. I'm pretty sure I have Chad to thank for that. I'm glad Jordan is developing such great sense of humor, it just cracks me up that he can be so funny already and he's not even 3.

Kingdom Keepers II: Disney at Dawn

Most Recently Read Book:

Kingdom Keepers II: Disney At Dawn

I read the first book in this series a long time ago so I was excited to see there is a sequel! (And, actually the third book comes out in April already!) I honestly have to say the story is a little far-fetched, but it's target audience is obviously intermediate or middle schoolers so I think it's perfect for them. I love this series because it takes place in Disney World. The first book is mainly set at the Magic Kingdom and this one occurs mostly at Animal Kingdom. I love Disney World and is so cool to visualize all the places they are talking about because I have been there. It's also fun to imagine what might be going on behind the scenes. Man, now I can't wait to go back...

The Battle of Jericho

Most Recently Read Book:

The Battle of Jericho

By Sharon M. Draper

I just finished another Sharon Draper book and this one was just as moving. This book is about Jericho and his friends who pledge a school club but find out there's hazing involved that they weren't expecting to have to deal with. I just read an article about peer pressure and hazing. It talked about the mess at a nearby high school that happened in 2003, and with girls. I don't think it's talked about enough for kids to realize what hazing really is and how to deal with it. Draper does a great job of developing the characters in this book while tackling an intense aspect of teen life.

Chasing The Bear

Most Recently Read Book:

Chasing The Bear

By Robert B. Parker

I randomly picked this book up because I saw it on the shelf at the library and it looked intriguing. It's so not close to the kind of books I usually read, but it looked interesting. This book is actually written as the back-story for a character named Spense. Apparently, a whole series of books has been written based on this private investigator and this book tells us his story, about his childhood and what shaped him when he was growing up. I liked that this book was written between the present and the past. I liked the plot of what was happening. My only complaint is there was tons of dialogue with the anchors, "he said" or "she said". There was barely any variety when it came to that. It started to get annoying after a while...there were times when someone asked a question or whispered and it said, "said". Otherwise, I really liked the character and may actually read some of the other books to see what this guy is all about as an adult.